Scholarly Comments on Academic Economics

Citation Counts and SSCI in Personnel Decisions: A Survey of Economics Departments

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This paper reports the results of a survey of economics department chairs regarding the importance of citation counts in personnel decisions. The 30 responses vary, some reporting virtually no importance of citation counts, but 15 respondents report that citation counts usually or always come up in promotion cases. Fourteen respondents report that the weight given to citation counts increased over the past decade, while one reports that it declined. Fourteen expect it to increase further in the future, while only one expects it to decline. The survey also inquires about the importance of a journal’s inclusion in the Social Science Citation Index in deciding whether a publication is deemed “peer reviewed.” The results indicate that at many universities SSCI inclusion is important.